Startup Company Sentropy Wants to Block Trolls on Your Timeline Before You Even See Them

By Elijah Labby Saturday, February 20, 2021

It’s easy to receive abuse online from nameless, faceless accounts on a variety of platforms, but a new startup company called Sentropy wants to put a stop to it.

The business recently launched Sentropy Protect, an online startup business focused on blocking harmful content on your Twitter account or that of your company before you ever even see it.

"Today if you go on Twitter and are being harassed or dealing with hate speech, you have to see it to process it," said the VP of Product, Dev Bala, of the startup company in an interview with Axios. "The opportunity we are providing here is to programmatically deal with that and essentially pre-moderate the feed."

Sign reading 'Danger, No Trolls.'

Repurposing the Business for the Consumer

This technology is an extension of the enterprise wing of the startup company’s troll-blocking business. The technology is now used for consumer-level interests, but the Chief Executive Officer of the company, John Redgrave, said the idea was always to expand the startup business into the consumer sphere.

“We always had a deep conviction of going after the enterprise as a start, but Sentropy is about more than that,” the business owner told TechCrunch. “Cyber safety has to have both enterprise and consumer components.”

Expanding the Startup Company’s Troll-Blocking Business

But the plans of the startup company are not just for Twitter. Eventually, says Balla, the business hopes to be available for use on a variety of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit, among others.

“I think abuse and harassment are rapidly evolving to be an existential challenge for the likes of Facebook, Reddit, YouTube and the rest,” the company CEO said. “These companies will have a 10,000 person organization thinking just about trust and safety, and the world is seeing the ills of not doing that. What’s not as obvious to people on the outside is that they are also taking a portfolio approach, with armies of moderators and a portfolio of technology. Not all is built in-house.

A History of Abuse on Twitter

Much of the abuse on Twitter is directed toward women. A report from non-governmental human rights organization Amnesty International found that, when they studied the tweets sent to a group of almost 800 female politicians and journalists in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017, 1.1 million were abusive or problematic.

The group also found that Black women were among the most likely to be targets of online abuse, with about one in 10 tweets being abusive or harmful in some way.

So while there is a big problem in social media, there’s also a big market for a solution – one that’s growing at a compound annual rate of 10% and is expected to be worth $10.8 billion by 2027. Sentropy could be just the company to fill the gap.

About the Author

Headshot of Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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